Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Gypsy Update

The carnage of the Gypsy Moths continues unabated. As the caterpillars near the end of the feeding cycle they are consuming every last piece of greenery available. In some areas hundreds of acres have been defoliated while other nearby areas are nearly untouched.

In areas of large infestations the devastation is complete and the caterpillars are on the move. In this photo one can observe the stain on the asphalt were untold numbers of caterpillars have been crushed by passing automobiles.


Lucy said...

Oh dear. I'm terrified of caterpillars, but I must say that is some disturbing carnage.

Unknown said...

Oh Yuk! Is there any way to fight this distructive enemy? Sounds like what the grasshoppers used to do to the farmers.

lv2scpbk said...

Yes sometimes you can hear them crunching away. A girl I work with said some of her trees have nothing left and they are on the pine trees, which I believe is unheard of. Am I correct?

Coy Hill said...

Faye: Gypsy Moth control is big business. Control is the key word, eradication is virtually impossible. Pa has a spraying program that one can sign up for to have a small area around their home sprayed with the cost being partially subsidized by the state. For larger landowners they are on their own. Arial spraying is the only way to reach the young caterpillars and of course it is very expensive. Spraying is done in early May otherwise it is ineffective. There are also natural enemies but with the Gypsy having been imported from Europe the enemies haven’t taken a sufficient foothold here to have much effect.

Barb: Pine is far from their favorite food (oak is in this region) but it also is far from the bottom of the list. They do attack pine in areas of relatively high levels of infestation. Sadly one defoliation is all it takes to kill a pine. Poplar appears to be unpalatable as I have seen many poplar trees standing unaffected in the midst of otherwise total defoliation.

Thanks so much for your comments & questions